Gustav Mahler

Biography

Born: July 7, 1860; Czech Republic   Died: May 18, 1911; Austria   Period: Romantic
"Imagine the universe beginning to sing and resound," Mahler wrote of his Symphony No. 8, the "Symphony of a Thousand." "It is no longer human voices; it is planets and suns revolving." Mahler was late Romantic music's ultimate big thinker. In his own lifetime he was generally regarded as a conductor who composed on the side, producing huge, bizarre symphonies accepted only by a cult following.
Born in 1860, in Kalischt, Bohemia, he came
Read more from a middle-class family. He entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1875, studying piano, harmony, and composition in a musically conservative atmosphere. Nevertheless, he became a supporter of Wagner and Bruckner, both of whose works he would later conduct frequently, and became part of a social circle interested in socialism, Nietzschean philosophy, and pan-Germanism. Around 1880, he began conducting and wrote his first mature work, Das klagende Lied. Mahler's conducting career advanced rapidly, moving him from Kassel to Prague to Leipzig to Budapest; he was usually either greatly respected or thoroughly despised by the performers for his exacting rehearsals and perfectionism. In 1897 he became music director of the Vienna Court Opera and then, a year later, of the Vienna Philharmonic. Mahler's conducting career permitted composition only during the summers, in a series of "composing huts" he had built in picturesque rural locations. He completed his first symphony in 1888, but it met with utter audience incomprehension. He reserved this time for symphonies, all of them large-scale works, and song cycles. In Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), he merged the two forms into an immense song-symphony. The Viennese public largely failed to understand his music, but Mahler took their reactions calmly, accurately predicting that "My time will yet come." Meanwhile, his autocratic ways as a conductor alienated musicians. In 1901, the press and the musicians essentially forced his resignation from the Philharmonic. He married a young composition student, Alma Schindler in 1902, and they soon had two daughters. By 1907 Mahler was increasingly away from Vienna, conducting his own works, and thus he resigned from the opera as well. Just after accepting the position of principal conductor of New York's Metropolitan Opera, but before leaving Vienna, Mahler's older daughter, age 4, died from scarlet fever and diphtheria, and he learned he himself had a defective heart valve. In New York, he was impressed by the caliber of talent and quickly gained audience approval. In 1909 he became conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which he found much more agreeable than the opera work by this time. The following year, he had a triumphant premiere of his massive Symphony No. 8 in Munich. Despite the professional successes, his personal life suffered another blow when his and Alma's marriage began having problems. They stayed together, and after he became ill in February 1911, she saw to it that he made it back to Vienna, where he died on May 18.
The conductors Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Willem Mengelberg, and Maurice Abravanel kept Mahler's legacy alive, and Mahler's are now among the most recorded of any symphonies. His frequent incorporation of vocal elements into symphonic writing brought to full fruition a process that had begun with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, demonstrating his music's firm roots in the Germanic classical tradition. However, it was his huge tapestries of shifting moods and tones, ranging from tragedy to bitter irony (often explicitly indicated in performance directions), from café music to evocations of the sublime, that portended a century in which multiplicity ruled. Read less
Mahler: Symphony No. 4  / Albrecht,  Netherlands Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/12/2015   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186487   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No. 9 / Klemperer, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Release Date: 04/15/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 554935  
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Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
Release Date: 12/20/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 681   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Symphony No 5 / Bernard Haitink, Et Al
Release Date: 06/26/2007   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186183   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde / Coote, Fritz, Albrecht, Netherlands Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/30/2013   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186502    Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Browse 1-25 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bamberg Symphony: The First 70 Years
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002474902 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Kempff,  Carl Seemann,  Pilar Lorengar,  Gottlob Frick  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Fritz Lehmann,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Richard Krauss  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $47.98
    CD: $43.99
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  • 2.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Glenn Dicterow,  Philip Smith,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $202.99
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  • 3.
    Mahler Symphonies - Live in Concert / Tennstedt, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 100 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jard Van Nes,  Yvonne Kenny,  Julia Varády  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $88.99
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  • 4.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 5.
    Mahler: Songs / Peter Mattei
    Label: Ladybird   Catalog: 79556834 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Peter Mattei
    Conductor:  Jochen Rieder
    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Strauss: Four Last Songs; Mahler: Songs Of A Wayfarer; Kindertotenlieder
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002386802 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsches Sinfonie-orchester Berlin
    CD: $7.99
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  • 7.
    Mahler: Lieder / Thomas Laske, Verena Louis
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1512 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Thomas Laske,  Verena Louis
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Mahler: Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (Arr. Schoenberg)… / Pinnock
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 481 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Gareth Brynmor John,  Katie Bray
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble
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  • 9.
    Orchestre National de France: 80 ans de Concerts Inedits
    Label: Radio France   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Edouard Lalo,  Albert Roussel,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre [Baritone Vocals] Bernac,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Irma Kolassi,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    Conductor:  Désiré-Emile Inghelbrecht,  Paul Paray,  Charles Munch,  Roger Desormičre  ... 
    CD: $70.99
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  • 10.
    Fahrende Gesellen
    Label: Passacaille   Catalog: 1008 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Dietrich Henschel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oxalys
    CD: $18.99
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  • 11.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 12.
    Vaclav Neumann: Early Recordings, 1953-1968
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4133 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Albert Roussel  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Chuchro,  Vera Soukupová,  Yvonne Loriod
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Film Symphony Orchestra,  Brno Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $56.98
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  • 13.
    Alma & Gustav Mahler: Lieder / Karen Cargill, Simon Lepper
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 453 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alma Mahler,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Karen Cargill,  Simon Lepper
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  • 14.
    Dreams / Dagmar Peckova, Jiri Belohlavek, Prague Philharmonia
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4171 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms,  Luciano Berio
    Performer:  Dagmar Pecková
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonia,  Prague Philharmonic Choir
    CD: $24.99
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  • 15.
    Fritz Reiner Conducts Richard Strauss - The Complete RCA & Columbia Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 379055 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Inge Borkh,  Francis Yeend  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 16.
    Mahler: Lieder / Bernarda Fink
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902173 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Anthony Spiri
    Conductor:  Andres Orozco-Estrada
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gustav Mahler Ensemble,  Lower Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Rca Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
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  • 18.
    Invitation Au Voyage
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 1951875 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Mahler,  Ildebrando Pizzetti,  Henri Duparc
    Performer:  Fritz Schwinghammer,  Dietrich Henschel
    CD: $9.99
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  • 19.
    Zemlinsky, Mahler, Schreker: Lieder
    Label: Kmi   Catalog: 71115 Release Date: 12/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alexander von Zemlinsky,  Franz Schreker
    Performer:  Anna Holroyd
    Conductor:  Amaury Du Closel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Versailles Camerata,  Ensemble Voix Étouffées
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  • 20.
    Boulez Conducts Mahler - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001931702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Johan Botha,  Dorothea Röschmann,  Anna Larsson,  Christian Gerhaher  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Mahler, Rihm: Orchestral Songs
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777675 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Rihm
    Performer:  Christoph Prégardien
    Conductor:  Steven Sloane
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  • 22.
    Mahler: Urlicht / Janina Baechle, Markus Hadulla
    Label: Marsyas   Catalog: 1809 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Markus Hadulla,  Janina Baechle
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  • 23.
    Dame Janet Baker - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 37712 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Henry Lawes  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Kenneth Heath,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard,  Sir John Barbirolli,  André Previn,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.95
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  • 24.
    Mahler Songs / Eilana Lappalainen, Robert Miller
    Label: Elysium   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Eilana Lappalainen,  Robert Miller
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  • 25.
    Wilhelm Furtwangler: Wiener Konzerte 1944-1954 [18-CD Set]
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 834118 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  César Franck,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda,  Dagmar Bella,  Paul Schöffler,  Anton Dermota  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singakademie,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    Recommendation
    CD: $118.99
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